Rivers Casino Philadelphia has been forced to close effective Friday, November 20, and remain shut until at least the end of the year. The new setback for the gaming establishment which also had to close mid-March and stay closed for 4 months during the first coronavirus wave, is the result of a new series of restrictions by the city seeking to slow down the spread of the virus.
“Safer At Home” Order
On Monday, November 16, in response to the growing number of new daily coronavirus cases, the City and Department of Public Health have announced changes to restrictions on businesses, events and gatherings, to help flatten the curve and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.
According to the “Safer at Home” order, casinos fall into the category of businesses which will not be allowed to operate, along with indoor dining venues, theaters, museums, libraries, bowling alleys, and arcades.
During the press conference Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney noted the reported number of positive coronavirus cases in the city had jumped 7 times in less than two months, with the average number of new cases per day for the last week surpassing the numbers of the worst week in April.
The jump in daily cases is putting pressure on hospitals which already experienced 600% spike in hospitalizations in the last seven weeks, the city official pointed out, explaining why the unwanted measures are unavoidable at this time.
Rivers Casino & Philadelphia Eagles Affected
The new development is a heavy blow for Rivers Casino Pennsylvania which implemented a number of health and safety measures upon its re-opening July 17, to ensure the well-being of guests and team members. Rivers remained shuttered for 4 months during the first coronavirus wave, the longest period of casino closure in the state.
Rivers Casino Pennsylvania is also placed at a disadvantage regarding other casinos in the state, Harrah’s Philadelphia in Delaware County, Valley Forge Casino in Montgomery County and Parx Casino in Bucks County being the closest, which, according to information from the PA Department of Health, will not face similar measures.
The new order also bans outdoor gatherings exceeding 2,000 people, effectively stopping live audience for games at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles from the National Football League (NFL) and the Temple Owls football team of the Temple University.
The Philadelphia Eagles got the approval to allow fans back at the stadium in mid-October, capped at between 5,500 and 6,000 people, but as the new restriction will run until January 1, at least, fans have a slim chance to attend the last Eagles home game January 3, against the Washington Football Team.